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In human resource departments around the world, you’ll find many using the Ulrich model as the basis of their approach. For many years, there were no HR departments as the need was not perceived by businesses in different industries. However, David Ulrich changed all that and today you see human resource departments with HR models designed to capitalize on the greatest resource any business has, their employees.

What is the Ulrich Model?

What was developed by David Ulrich and progressed into the HR business partner model that you see today changed the way companies looked at their employees. When first introduced, the model was a revelation because it looked at people first and the roles they were expected to fill and not vice versa. The focus became the organization from presidents to board members to managers and employees.

The HR models that sprang from Ulrich’s work put function at the top, not the roles that people play in the organization. When looking at a diagram, you’ll see that the Ulrich model is built around four recognized roles within a company.

Administration Expert: There are several tasks involved in this part of the model, staring with the understanding and implementation of rules according to new laws, rules, and regulations passed by the government. This includes health and safety regulations that often change, especially when new additions are made to equipment, machinery, and the like. The administration expert implements the changes to ensure that they are carried out properly.

Advocates for Employees: This is the employee representation within the Ulrich model that HR departments must follow. The advocate ensures that the environment within the workplace encourages employees to work in the right way. This includes dealing with company morale, culture, and ensuring that all employees are treated fairly in terms of any discipline issues, career advancement, and learning new skills.

Change Agent: This aspect deals with the growth or evolution of the business in terms of its goals, objectives, and size. The HR role in this is to communicate and help carry out the change that is needed internally. This means implementing new training procedures, new skills, and helping current employees, managers, and others involved to change their roles according to the new direction of the company.

HR Business Partner or Strategic Partner: The HR business partner models revolve around the communication between the business and their clients and customers that are considered within or internal to the operation of the company. This means stakeholders, shareholders, creditors, employees, and other members of the organization.

Creating a PowerPoint diagram of the Ulrich model helps to visualize how it works and why it is important for human resource departments to use it daily in their work.

The HR models based on David Ulrich’s work have withstood the test of time, although they have been altered or modified to meet the new working environment. The HR business partner model, along with the other aspects of the Ulrich model, continue to develop and change to meet the needs of companies around the world.

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